Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Review: "Sorry to Bother You" is the Funniest and Smartest Head Trip of the Year

Scene from Sorry to Bother You
There is a scene in the second act that perfectly summarizes the experience of watching director Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother You. In the scene, millionaire playboy Steve Lift (Armie Hammer) is seen snorting a line of cocaine that stretches to absurd length. It's a comedic moment, but it's also one that captures the film perfectly. To witness the magic of Riley's ribald anti-capitalist satire is to feel like you're high, about to experience the whirlwind of metaphors stuck in a distorted world view of a lower class man living in Oakland, CA. It keeps spinning faster and faster as Riley's band The Coup swirls a disorienting soundscape into this confection. If it doesn't make you wonder "What did I just see?" then you weren't paying attention. Even then, it's in the moments of "altered states" where the answers appear, in an abstract collage of contemporary society that looks real, but is warped and surreal. It's a beautiful creation that solidifies Lakeith Stanfield as one of the great young actors, and most of all proves that the world is insane, and it takes a person with a watchful eye like Riley to get it oh so right.

Monday, July 16, 2018

A24 A-to-Z: "Moonlight" (2016)



Scene from Moonlight
In case you didn't know, A24 is one of the great purveyors of modern cinema. Since 2013, the studio has found a way to innovate independent cinema by turning each release into an event. As a result, A24 A-to-Z will be an ongoing series that looks at every release from the studio by analyzing its production history, release, criticisms, and any awards attention that it might've received. Join me on a quest to explore the modern heroes of cinema by exploring every hit and miss that comes with that magnificent logo. They may not all be great, but they more than make A24 what it is and what it will hopefully continue to be for ears to come.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Composing Greatness: #46. John Williams - "The Book Thief" (2013)

Scene from The Book Thief
Welcome to Composing Greatness: a column dedicated to exploring the work of film composers. This will specifically focus on the films that earned them Oscar nominations while exploring what makes it so special. This will be broken down into a look at the overall style, interesting moments within the composition, and what made the score worth nominating in the first place. This will also include various subcategories where I will rank the themes of each film along with any time that the composer actually wins. This is a column meant to explore a side of film that doesn't get enough credit while hopefully introducing audiences to an enriched view of more prolific composers' work. This will only cover scores/songs that are compiled in an easily accessible format (so no extended scores will be considered). Join me every Sunday as I cover these talents that if you don't know by name, you recognize by sound.

Friday, July 6, 2018

A24 A-to-Z: #41. "American Honey" (2016)

Scene from American Honey
In case you didn't know, A24 is one of the great purveyors of modern cinema. Since 2013, the studio has found a way to innovate independent cinema by turning each release into an event. As a result, A24 A-to-Z will be an ongoing series that looks at every release from the studio by analyzing its production history, release, criticisms, and any awards attention that it might've received. Join me on a quest to explore the modern heroes of cinema by exploring every hit and miss that comes with that magnificent logo. They may not all be great, but they more than make A24 what it is and what it will hopefully continue to be for ears to come.